|Earth gets a visit from asteroid 2012 KT42 overnight. The diagram shows the time of closest approach. |
The tiny asteroid was only 18th magnitude and estimated at between 10-30 feet wide. While posing no threat, it’s moving rapidly towards closest approach to Earth around 2:10 a.m. CDT tomorrow morning May 29, when it will fly by at the slim distance of 8,700 miles. That would make 2012 KT42 the 6th closest asteroid approach to date. Click HERE to see a list of Top 20 closest approaches.
|The asteroid will transit across the face of the sun tomorrow for parts
of Asia and Africa. It will only be |
about 6 seconds wide - very tiny. Click map for larger version. Thanks and credit to: Aldo Vitagliano
Savvy amateurs with 6-inch telescopes and larger should be able to see it shining between 12th and 13th magnitude late tonight through tomorrow morning. Watch out though – the asteroid will move very rapidly across the sky. You’ll need to download its orbital elements at this site and put them into a sky-charting program, so you can make a detailed map to find and follow the zippy rock.
Once you do, don’t let go. You’ll be on a fast train. When closest, 2012 KT42 will be traveling at over 2 arc minutes per second. Two arc minutes is more than twice as big as Jupiter appears through a telescope. That’s plenty fast enough to see move in real time! Viewers along a path that cuts across central Asia and Africa will see the asteroid transit the sun at around 5:10 CDT May 29. - Astro Bob.